Bryce, Zion Provide 'Grand' Landscape

By Dave Greber

October 10, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2012 at 11:56 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) After more than 1,500 miles, countless sights and natural wonders, my Holiday Vacations trip really wasn't a vacation after all.

It was an experience.

Thanks to thousands of photos, dozens of people I now consider friends and a new appreciation for all that our country has to offer, it's one I will never forget.

Our 11-day trip began and ended in Salt Lake City where we were introduced to the engine behind the area: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Mormon culture.

The crescendo of the vacation's first day was as a member of the audience of the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which wowed us just as they do for millions throughout the world every week.

Our most formal part of the trip in the rear view mirror, it was off to take in the natural wonders of the western United States.

Our first stop: Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point, where the forces of hundreds of millions of years of evolution and erosion are showcased to unbelievable proportions.

We traversed the same lands inhabited by the first people of this country. The lay of the land out west is awe inspiring, making the people who visit these sites today small in not only size, but historical perspective.

Before leaving Arizona, we were treated to a Navajo village, where we learned of the culture's living, cooking and dancing.

Next stops: The seemingly impossible landscape of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. Together with the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion are some of the most picturesque parts of the Colorado Plateau with elevations surpassing 9,000 feet, and very little standing between you and the bottom of a ravine tens of millions of years old.

In fact, it's more evident in these places that age and the forces of nature are intangible, and that we are but a moment in time.